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Monday soapers

Mary Worth, 8/15/11

The comics have presented us with many wonderful images today, but none are more delightful than young Gina and her boyfriend taking in the world’s most wholesome skateboard kid and his ludicrously clean-cut cheering section. “Look, Gina!” Bobby’s saying in panel two. “This guy’s doing some awesome tricks, and yet he’s wearing khaki shorts and has neatly parted hair! Have you ever seen the like?”

Gil Thorp, 8/15/11

This is the kind of sensitivity that makes it so easy for Gil to really connect with his young students. “So, Kenny, I hear your mom’s a lush! What’s up with that?”

Apartment 3-G, 8/15/11

Oh my goodness, it looks like Lu Ann is going to join Luann in teaching the kids today about the importance of resisting sexual pressure — only in this scenario, it’s Lu Ann who’s the insatiable lust-monster and her boyfriend who’s saving himself for … when he’s older? Like, how much older? Because I’m pretty much assuming he’s about 35 now, based on appearances. I guess he’s saving himself for marriage, unlike that harlot Lu Ann, who, just look at that face in panel three that’s supposed to be “crazed with desire,” it’s almost as hilarious as the skateboard kid in Mary Worth.

Panel from Mark Trail, 8/15/11

Mark Trail strips often seem to be pieced together out of pre-existing bits of art, and today’s first panel is probably a good example. “That was a good story you did about the mountain man!” That could be the summary about every fifth Trail storyline for the past thirty years.

The Phantom, 8/15/11

Meanwhile, the Phantom is getting satellite TV. ACTION! ADVENTURE!

263 responses to “Monday soapers”

  1. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:33 am [Reply]

    Q: How are “Pluggers” is Reed Hoover like an old car?

    A: Both backfire a lot and leak copious amounts of fluid all over the place!

    (Gary Brookins should turn over 50% of his income from “Pluggers” to Hoover!)

  2. nescio
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:34 am [Reply]

    GT: Hey, that’s MY job!

  3. nescio
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:36 am [Reply]

    B.C.- Within a week, Shirley had disemboweled and eaten her rivals and established herself as the alpha female.

  4. Malaclypse
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Why is the Phantom in Arizona? Jan Brewer is *not* going to like this one bit.

  5. bad wolf
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:38 am [Reply]

    Wait a second… according to that old Luann Josh links to, TJ was dating Rosa! Gunther is just the next poor schlub who’ll never measure up to TJ in her.. heart.

  6. MotownMJM
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:41 am [Reply]

    Did Gil just rip the skin off his left hand to reveal that he’s actually a Terminator?

  7. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    A3G: That’s OK, Lu Ann, but I thought it only happened to guys. (Incidentally, would that have been “basius interruptus?)

    Nancy: A ‘Total Recall’ reference! Nice.

    Pluggers: The Pluggers have the flying car? When did this happen? How long was I asleep? (Also: Longest caption ever? )

    Strange Brew: Must be where Donna Lewis works.

  8. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:43 am [Reply]

    snarkfu is weak today. Love Is and PMP both deal with inadequacies of the male of the species.

  9. pugfuggly
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:44 am [Reply]

    MW: “Bobby was so impressed with that boy’s skateboarding skills that he dumped me for him the next day. The two of them got married in Vermont last summer, and I never loved again….”

    A3G: “No, we should really stop Lu Ann. I know: instead of having hot, naughty sex, we could visit my mother again and help her make banana bread. That’s more fun, right?”

    MT “I’m sorry, Kelly, but your story about dioxin contamination in the river is going to have to wait until next issue. MARK found a goose with a GOLD RING on it!”

  10. Effluvius Erratus
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:45 am [Reply]

    Phantom: “Finally, I’ll see what’s up with this ‘tee vee’ thing Peter Parker’s always going on about.”

  11. Not Just Any Dipstick
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    MW: Only problem I had with Bobby was his head would swell up to giant size every often. Always wished something else would.

  12. S. Stout
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:50 am [Reply]

    MW: If they weren’t laughing at the skateboarding preppy to themselves, they’d see he’s about to fly into them. Is the skateboarder named Bullet, and her boyfriend couldn’t dodge him? Sorry, I haven’t been reading MW since the initial diner scene.

    Luann: Alright, how much did Luann pay Rosa to pretend to be interested in Gunther? It’s the only way this makes sense.

    A3G: Aw, Margo framed Lu Ann’s crayon scribbles in Panel 3.

  13. Sue D. Nymme
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    GT “Why? What did you hear? Oh God, Coach — not the shocker!!”

  14. Doctor Handsome
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    “Kenny’s mom is drinking? And probably emotionally vulnerable? She’s single, right? How’s the caboose?”

  15. Squeak
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    Oh my goodness! For a moment, I read that as “Paul pulls out…”

  16. David Willis
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    Man, where is the rest of Gina’s boyfriend in that second panel? How skinny is he?

  17. Mibbitmaker
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:56 am [Reply]

    9CL: Brooke’ll be damned to Hell for defamation of character.

    Curtis: And Curtis will be damned on general principle.

    ReFOOB: Lord knows why…

    DT: Staton and Gould are going to have some heated ideological arguments some day.

    FW: Pavlovian response: Les Moore appearance –> uneasy anger.

    GT: Then Kenny proceeds to bust up the bench.

    H&L: Trixie…… you’re so doomed!

    Marvin: More like “The Blago”!

    Phantom: At least someone in the funny pages isn’t a technophobe.

    OBH: “Ruthie, I know what we’re gonna do today!…”

    S-M, panel 1: Suuuurrrrrrrrrrre……

  18. Dennis Jimenez
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    OK, OK – too many snarks today, but here’s my best shot:

    MW – I can only surmise from the direction of the skateboarder in panel one, relative to panel two, that Gina’s platonic puppy love BF, was some sort of necromancer with some kinetic force control of some kind, which naturally would amuse young Gina. But how can Mary medle with that? Time will tell….

    GT – Don’t follow the strip, but those “drinking” jobs aren’t as hard to come by as you think – truck stop hookers must be common there in whatever Podunk GT is set in….

    A3G – Miles Standish – Miles Sitish – Miles Slouchish – anyway, speak for yourself, for cryin’ out loud….

    MT – Basic Instinct….

    Phanton – Hey, Ghost Who Walks Far From Home* (*In Bandar Tongue) – I don’t think you can get a tan with that suit on….

    Adios Amigos, DJ.

  19. yaoi huntress earth
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:58 am [Reply]

    @Mibbitmaker (#17): You should see the ass-reaming Satan’s character is getting in Pibgorn.

  20. Mibbitmaker
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:00 am [Reply]

    @David Willis (#16): I think, between panels, the skateboarder’s board cut off the boyfriend’s arm while in movement. Yet he smiles on as if nothing happened! What a trouper! No wonder she loved him!

  21. But What Do I Know?
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    A3G — Why do I get the feeling that LuAnn is talking about something different than any other human being would be in the same circumstances? Oh, right. . .

    GT — They have psychology classes in high school?

    The Ghost Who Surfs — He would have set the dish up at the Skull Cave, but the only channels he could get were QVC (in the Bandar tongue) and the local weather.

  22. Patrick
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    What in the holy hell does “because we still can” even mean in this context? Does Paul have a barbed penis like a cat, which won’t detach from Lu Ann until the act is complete? Oh, I hope that’s it.

  23. Binder's Butter Beans
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    Phantom: I assume the plateau in the background is Walker’s Table. But honestly, who could look upon that scene and not immediately name the landmark in the foreground “Walker’s Wiener”?

  24. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:05 am [Reply]

    Red Pandas are inherently squee.

    being kewt can be so exhausting.

    Take THAT, Greatest Generation!

  25. Schroduck
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    How old is Gina? From the looks of it, she doesn’t seem to be much older than 30, so her New York childhood must have been late-80s/early-90s. It just about makes sense for Charterstone to be an enclave of clean-cut white people with a fashion sense that even people in the fifties would have called “square” (the skateboard boy is wearing SOCKS WITH SANDALS, people), but the streets of working class early 90s New York?! I think what we’re seeing is Mary visualising the story in her head, still seeing everything through her Charterstone vision, hence why Bobby looks exactly like a miniature version of her good friend Drew.

  26. Doctor Handsome
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Gina might be mixing up actual events from her past with vague memories of Wally Bear and the NO! Gang.

  27. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:08 am [Reply]

    @Squeak (#15): You’re not the only one. And standing up, how badass is that?

  28. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:09 am [Reply]

    Lio: Child prefers mechanically produced vibration to company of a priest. ‘Nuff said.

    Snuffy: I was surprised to read the syndicate’s description of Snuffy as a “bodacious” hilbilly, but then found there were other meanings. (Like “bold”+”audacious”.) Looks like my initial idea was correct. (I don’t want to know why his wife is called “Weezy”.)

    Born Loser: What good would a “pitcher” of water be? So he can look at it? Hang, on, my brain is still set to Hootin’ Hollerese.

    Bizarro: More enthusiasm? He’s only gone out and had a signs specially made! If that isn’t dedication to the job I don’t know what is.

    Dennis the Menace: Dennis sports the mark of the Illuminati on his trunks.

  29. Binder's Butter Beans
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:10 am [Reply]

    @Kristian (#27): Knee-trembler in Apartment 3-G!

  30. Dan
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:15 am [Reply]

    Who can blame Lu Ann for not being able to live without more of that hot, close-mouthed face-pressing from Saturday?

  31. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:16 am [Reply]

    Luann: “‘Up’ is a direction away from a large mass, but that’s not important right now.”

    Hügar the Hürriblë: “And could you install a new … what’s it called … ‘crew’ while you’re at it?”

    Herb and Jamaal: One size cap fits none. (I’m sure that’s an old observation.)

    Dick Tracy: Being sat upon by a fake nurse. Worst death ever? (Slowball ‘sat’. Feel free.)

  32. Ranger
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:17 am [Reply]

    MW: My childhood was a happy time. Then everything changed after Brown v Board of Education.

  33. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:18 am [Reply]

    @S. Stout (#12): [Luann] So Gunther is going to be the Tyrion of this story? Interesting take.

  34. charterstoned
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:19 am [Reply]

    MW -Wow. Paul pulls away (not even so much as “out”) because he can. Now, there’s an accomplishment to brag about! I have to say, I’m a little worried about the fate of the comics pages these days. Even without the help of strip-slashing newspaper editors, it looks like the population of comic strip characters could die out for sheer lack of propagation. None of the female characters seem to be getting any these days. I’m telling you, something needs to give pretty soon or we’re going to end up with Mary Worth-aged spinsters on every page!

    MT – Haha! Bill doesn’t know that he’s talking on a toy phone that isn’t even connected to the wall, let alone the handset.

    MW – Say, a couple of days ago Bobby was just a scrawny, prepubescent weenie. All of a sudden, he’s got a muscular forearm with what looks like hair, sticking straight out of his shoulder socket. (And it looks like the spastic girl standing behind the kid with the rolled-up dungarees is missing her right leg, too.) Does the Cruel Blow of Fate have anything to do with Gina’s neighborhood being built on top of an abandoned nuclear waste dump?

  35. Tom the Sailor Man
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:20 am [Reply]

    Man, Peter Parker wishes he had one of those sweet portable satellite dishes like the Phantom.
    Then he could watch TV anywhere, maybe even on the back of a SPEEDING CAR!

  36. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    Funky Winkerbean: Let’s go to Seinfeld for this one: “The walking date is a good date. You don’t have to look right at the other person.”

    Mark Trail: “‘A bird was found wearing a gold band with a bible reference.’ Beautiful. Print that. No, not ‘headline,’ that’s the article. Sorry, Kelly, we won’t be needing you.”

    Over the Hedge: Critic: Some walnut shells in the last panel would have made the joke easier to get.

    Lockhorns: “Firstly, sir, are you sure your wife will fit in the hand basket?”

    Archie: Never go far out at sea with a rich man who dislikes you.

  37. McManx
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:34 am [Reply]

    Phantom — The Phantom Vow: “To fight piracy in all its forms…” Oops; does this include pirating satellite TV service? I mean, they didn’t have HBO in the Sixteenth Century, so it’s okay… really?

    Mary Worth — So I assure Gina is in her mid twenties, so this childhood scene is maybe 10-12 years ago? No skateboarder worth their salt in 1990 looked like these lads. There is not a Goth among them.

  38. Dood
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:35 am [Reply]

    The Phantom: How do you say, “Ghost-who-wants-his-NFL-Sunday-ticket” in the Bandar tongue?

  39. Les of the Jungle Patrol
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:36 am [Reply]

    It’s quite disturbing seeing apartment 3G re-enact scenes from the abstinence-only textbook used in my catholic junior high 20 years ago.

  40. Dood
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:38 am [Reply]

    The Phantom: It looks like the Ghost-who-carries-a-really-big-remote-control is finally out of range of Capt. Savarna’s deck guns.

  41. anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Mutts: NO SNARK – I LOVE MUTTS! The summer vacation strips are the best, and I look forward to the Sunday strips more than anything else during the week. For one brief moment on a Sunday morning, I can smile….sad, huh?

  42. Scott Bot
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:39 am [Reply]

    Yesterday’s Dick Tracy – Land shark.

    GT – No, Molly, seven year olds ‘act out.’ Young adults act like assholes. There is a difference.

    MW – Judging by today’s strip, the big issue with her father is that he came out and chased all those kids and their darned skateboards off his lawn.

  43. Esther Blodgett
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:40 am [Reply]

    FW: If you’re keeping score, that’s hairdo #4 for Cayla. Same peepee-yellow shirt as always for Les.

    Pluggers: Hey, Reed Hoover, if I see you tooling around Dallas in a car with bald tires and belching smoke out the back, I’m calling the cops on your ass. We don’t need your kind on the road, Plugger-man.

    DtM: Look, Henry, if you’re going to lay on your stomach in hot pink and lim green flowered swim trunks, you should count yourself lucky if a bucket of sand is the worst you get spilled on you.

  44. Dood
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Gil Thorp: “Molly, your professional assessment is good enough for me. What’s ‘acting out’ mean?”

  45. Scott Bot
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:46 am [Reply]

    Pluggers – I didn’t even know you could get a Trabant into this country.

  46. Noel Schornhorst
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    Wow. Today’s Phantom left me all a-twitter! How long must we wait before the pulse-pounding crossover between Phantom and Spider-Man where they must team up…

    …to lounge on the sofa, snacking and watching ‘Jersey Shore?’

  47. twg
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:47 am [Reply]

    MT: Let me guess, Kelly overhears the story idea, goes off to stalk Mark, and then there’s some “zany” moment where Cherry thinks Mark is banging Kelly, but he’s not, and then he sets some smugglers on fire. SIGH.

    MW: Okay, Gina, we get it, you were in puppy love with some dude when you were 12. Get to the freaking point of your story already.

  48. Greg
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:48 am [Reply]

    MW: It’s Fred Durst, the Early Days. “Come on, everyone! He’s manufacturing street cred before our eyes! Let’s laugh at him!” (Hence all the angry music later on…)

  49. Ringo Beaumont III
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:50 am [Reply]

    The Phantom has a satellite dish? For God’s sake, don’t tell Peter Parker. He’ll be over every day now, fighting valiantly for truth, justice, and the corner cushion on Phantom’s couch.

  50. Captain Plaid Pants
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    Today’s Funky Winkerbean is an excellent example of the phenomenon known as “the quiet before the storm”. In the Funkiverse, you are either in the midst of a wholly unbelievable manufactured tragedy, or just ABOUT to experience it. Without “hope” to get in the way and cause unrealistic expectations, life is very simple. Soul-crushingly simple.

  51. Dennis Jimenez
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:51 am [Reply]

    @Greg (#48): If I ever start a business, I think I’ll incorporate it under the name Street Cred Manufacturing….

  52. Scott Bot
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:52 am [Reply]

    Phantom – is gonna be pissed when he finds out they scramble the Playboy Channel.

  53. Marvin's Mom
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    GOD! Paul is gay. He’s going to leave Lu Ann with blue ovaries, and she will have nothing to console herself with.. until she picks up Nicholson Baker’s new masterpiece, House of Holes, which got me off twice last night.
    House of Holes
    …This post has been sponsored by “House of Holes”, which is another good name for “Apartment 3G”

  54. Snowshoecat
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:00 am [Reply]

    BB- I give up. Exactly what era is Beetle B set? We have the guy in 40s lounge lizard hair and mustache, the guy with 50s greaser hair, the 70s Afro, and the Millenium geek. And others too boring to mention. I had forgotten that Beetle on leave dresses like an extra in “it’s a Wonderful Life” complete with the goofy hat..

    What’s with that?

    MW- Gina has had her impossibly cropped ponytail since she was a child in chaste love with her easy-to-impress boyfriend. Yikes!

    MT- why is Kelly always in the editor’s office when he gratuitiously repeats the salient points of the story Mark wants to write, ensuring that she will be there to meddle and try to get Mark away from the wife he has no interest in either?

    A3G- and I didn’t even think Luanne knew where babies (or, improbably called kids) came from. What romanic young blonde ditz yearns for kids? It’s babies, dammit!

  55. UncleJeff
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:04 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Look, the satellite equipment is bad enough (oh, and I’m sure it’ll be used for a little video chit-chat with the kiddies back home and not satellite porn) but — the Phantom hangs out in an area where there are cacti?
    Where are the pirates out there? Isn’t “Phantom” set in Africa?

  56. TheDiva
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:11 am [Reply]

    MT: Just how far back can this exposition recap go, anyway? “That was a good story you did about that mountain man, Mark! And we really liked your article about the smuggler who hid diamonds in his fishing lure! And hey, remember that senator who kicked the baby deer?”

    MW: “Look, Gina, that kid’s about to wipe out and suffer a traumatic brain injury! Isn’t it swell?”

    9CL: My mistake, maybe Monty-God really IS one of Brooke’s author avatars…

    DT: Wait, if that’s Rush Limbaugh on the radio, then who is that in panel three?

    FW: Today the role of Cayla will be played by the little girl from Corduroy. In other news, Les is still a smug asshole.

    Luann: Hasn’t the Catholic church suffered enough, Luann?

    Marvin: Okay, they’re actively TRYING to make Marvin as loathsome as possible now.

    Pluggers decide it’s more effective to pollute everyone’s lungs, not just their own.

    SM: Okay, hands up: How many people read Serra calling Jamison “Mr. J” and immediately starting hearing her dialogue in Harley Quinn’s voice?

  57. Terry in Maryland
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:12 am [Reply]

    Phantom: Who knew the African jungle was so close to the American Southwest. Apparently, you can ride a horse between the two with a dog trotting at your side.

  58. Terrapin
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:13 am [Reply]

    Luann: Actually Luann, priests have to be pretty good speakers. A stammerer like Gunther would have a tough time at it. Maybe with a really good voice coach he could become King of England or something, though.

    GT: “Wow!” Thinks Gil. “I gotta play poker with this kid!”

    Phantom: “Gilligan’s Island, here I come!”

  59. Lucky
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    The Phantom – It’s not a good sign when Fingerpori treats your character with more respect than the official strip.

  60. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    @Schroduck (#25):

    the skateboard boy is wearing SOCKS WITH SANDALS, people

    Socks with sandals — particularly black socks with sandals — are “costume de rigueur” here in Snowbird Country!

  61. Pozzo
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:23 am [Reply]

    Looks like the Phantom has set up shop in Coconino County. It’ll be worth it if we get to see him hit in the head with a brick.

  62. charterstoned
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    @Terry in Maryland (#57): That’s a wolf.

  63. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:26 am [Reply]

    @Lucky (#59): Add Finnish to the list of languages I’ll need to learn.

  64. Ned Ryerson
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:29 am [Reply]

    @Marvin’s Mom (#53): Very interesting! I’ve always been a big fan of The Fermata and this sounds surrealistically raunchy. (I can’t wait to read what “pussy-surf the White Lake” means!)

  65. Psychid
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:30 am [Reply]

    THRILL, as the Phantom sits on his lazy ass every day of every month of every year, watching nothing but what’s seen on GSN non-stop!

  66. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:33 am [Reply]

    MT: “That sounds like a great story! Then again, it’s 9:15 and I’m already stinking drunk on cheap gin! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a girl reporter to sexually harass.”

    FC: Bil’s plan proceeds as scheduled: get the children used to sleeping in the tent now, while the nights are warm, and by December, they won’t ask questions, and he can sit back and wait for the hypothermia to do its work.

    JP: Judge Randy just assumed that a “smart phone” would locate itself in his suit pocket when he left the house.

    A3G: So they’re alone in the apartment, and they’ve been dating long enough for Luann to accompany Paul’s mom to the hospital, and they’re not kids—and so why do they need to “stop”? If this strip had any semblance of reality, Paul and Luann would have been fucking like Aryan bunnies for fifteen minutes already.

  67. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:35 am [Reply]

    @Marvin’s Mom (#53): I like Nicholson Baker; that one’s on my “to read” list.

  68. Cloudbuster
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    Oh, wow, I didn’t realize there was an entire series of Luann PSAs.

    They’re pretty hilarious. I like the one on sexual harrassment, cause yeah, as a high school boy it really sucked when girls told me straight-out that I was attractive and that they were interested in me. I mean, who wants to miss out on all the uncertainty and fear of rejection?

    Yes, Virginia, boys and girls are different.

  69. CanuckDownSouth
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    @Terrapin (#58): Maybe Gunther could become a monk in one of those contemplative orders where they pretty much live under a vow of silence. And cloistered away from the world. Heck, can we dump the whole cast there?

  70. Snowshoecat
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:38 am [Reply]

    9CL– waaaaaiiiiiit a sec… Does this mean that Merriam Webster has more power than the Almighty– Monty?

  71. Tophat
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    It enhances the Mary Worth experience if you actually imagine what all those cheering kids are probably saying. “Tubular! Radical! Wowzers! Gee Golly whiz!” And then the dark shadowy figure appears in panel two holding his own custom skateboard, sullenly observing before interrupting the skating wonder with some sweet grinds and talking in a deep Russian accent. “I vill… BREAK YOU.”

  72. seismic-2
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:46 am [Reply]

    GT: “Why? What have you heard?”
    “Well, Kenny, actually most of what I’ve been hearing for the last week is a nice, soothing, steady E-flat, ever since I had this tuning fork grafted onto my left hand. You should try it too, since your golf game is going to be pretty much garbage from now on out anyway, what with your Mom being a lush and all.”

    MT: Did Bill Ellis attend the J. Jonah Jameson school of editorial judgment, story evaluation, and expense account evaluation? “A gold bird band with a Bible verse on it? Sounds like a great story! Hey Kelly, I want you to write me a companion piece about a Rhesus monkey with a platinum collar inscribed with verses from the Bhagavad G?t?! Now go to India, and don’t come back until you find one!”

    Phantom: Poor Kit. He has to go all the way from Africa to the Sonora Desert just to get decent global satellite TV reception, and when he tries it out, the first broadcast he will receive is one of two doofuses in Belgium copulating on top of a grand piano.

  73. Snowshoecat
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:48 am [Reply]

    @Terrapin (#58):

    When I was a kid our parish had a priest who stammered. At certain points in his homily he would get stuck and the whole congregation “helped” him by simultaneously leaning forward. He gave among the best homilies ever, and we actually didn’t notice the stammer much.

    Gunther, on the other hand…

  74. Kristian
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:55 am [Reply]

    @Tophat (#71): … to the extreme.

  75. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:59 am [Reply]

    @seismic-2 (#72):

    Phantom: Poor Kit. He has to go all the way from Africa to the Sonora Desert just to get decent global satellite TV reception, and when he tries it out, the first broadcast he will receive is one of two doofuses in Belgium copulating on top of a grand piano.

    And when he does the first thing the Phantom will say is, “Darn. Reruns.”

    Hey! bats :[! When you meet the Phantom, go ahead and “mash” him for us!

  76. MrGuy
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:11 am [Reply]

    A3G: Actually, I think Paul might be Wholesome Skateboard Kid. Either that, or almost all males in both Apartment 3-G and Mary Worth look identical except for their hair. Oh, wait.

  77. Wren
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:16 am [Reply]

    MW: Sure we were brother and sister, but it was a more innocent time then!

  78. Chip Whittle
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:19 am [Reply]

    Barney Google: That guy must be new-fangled, what with his hoping for love in Hootin’ Holler.

    Blondie: Sorry I can’t help, Dag. Growing up I had no idea what you did in an office all day. Now that I’m grown up I have no idea what I do in an office all day.

    Crock: Today I learned Crock is set in a place called “El Abu Bhabi”, and yet I still feel hollow inside.

    “El Abu Bhabi” is kind of like a pun, except it doesn’t actually mean anything if you look at it, so it’s the perfect place name for Crock to be set.

    Dustin: See, it’s funny because while Mom talks about relaxing Dustin is playing a video game, while his morally superior father is reading a book and his sister is playing on her smart phone. OK, it’s less funny-ha-ha or funny-ironic than it is funny-you-young-people-suck.

    Funky Winkerbean: OK, quick quiz: are Les and Cayla inside Montoni’s or outside? Because either the window name is painted backwards or someone hung the curtains and tiled the sidewalk next to the cute little outdoor-eating alcove.

  79. Nekrotzar
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    GT: It’s been a long time since I was in high school, but I’m pretty sure that if a teacher had showed me that his hand was actually one of those physically impossible three-pronged optical illusion things, he would have instantly gained my trust.

  80. Liam
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    MW-Yes yes yes. You loved him. He loved you. It was simple innocent time. When do we get to the part about him dying tragically.

    A3G-Judging by that look in her Lu Ann wants to kiss something else of his. The lucky guy.

    Love Is-Nope I still don’t see it.

  81. Apartment 4G
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    Paul is a closeted gay and is just using Lu Ann as a beard.

    If he told her that, she would say “You silly. You shave every day.”

  82. Irrischano
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am [Reply]

    I think Bobby is demonstrating his newly acquired powers of vehicular manipulation. Right now he’s just knocking kids off skateboards with the point of a finger, but pretty soon he’ll be slinging police helicopters into locomotives with a single clap. I would say “Beware his wrath” but who could resist that smile?

  83. commodorejohn
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:29 am [Reply]

    Agnes – Oh, it’s an Acer!

    A3G – Her dialogue says “raring to go,” but her face says “just drunk enough to lose all sense of propriety at a dinner party.” [*] Now that we’ve observed Luann’s mating ritual, what are the odds of seeing Margo’s? Well, up until the horrific gore, anyway.

    DT – It’s Eating Raoul meets Thelma and Louise meets Of Mice and Men!

    FW – “Let’s go for a walk. I want to take you to the bench where I commune with my dead wife, honey.”

    JP – Maybe Sinister Shadowy Guy from way the hell back stole Randy’s cell phone in order to mess up his date with April? SINISTER!

    Luann – No, I’m pretty sure even the most devout and immaculate priest has a healthier sex life than Gunther.

    Mandrake – “No, I’m not conspicuously reaching into my coat for a firearm with which to shoot you, don’t mind me!”

    MT – …NO IT DOESN’T.

    MW – Wow. Just…wow.

    MG&G – This was written by someone who’s heard of jokes, but never actually read one.

    SF – No, Ted, I think she’s sincere. Look at her face. But hey, let her try – maybe she can confuse herself into pulling it off.

    Edison Lee – You’ve got a lot of nerve to be calling other people out over scientific accuracy, strip. Glass fuckin’ houses.

  84. Darryl Heine
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:32 am [Reply]

    NOT FEATURED:

    GARFIELD: A visit to Kittywood theme park and what does Garfield have over corn dogs?

    BLONDIE: Dagwood needs help on a Dithers deal with Facebook friends?

    OFF THE MARK: The first day of a August 2011 week of Mark Parisi’s unused Wacky Packages All New Series 8 drawings!

    FAMILY CIRCUS: The first day of a remade week from Summer 1974 involving: “It’s a tent, Mommy, let’s sleep outside tonight!”

  85. Chyron HR
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:39 am [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#68): I like the one on sexual harrassment

    Ha ha ha! Oh, wow! I especially like where it says that everyone deserves to be treated with respect–including Tiffany!

    You first, Greg.

  86. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:42 am [Reply]

    @Liam (#80):

    MW-Yes yes yes. You loved him. He loved you. It was simple innocent time. When do we get to the part about him dying tragically.

    I don’t think he’ll die, I think he’ll turn rogue and start ripping tags off mattresses.

  87. Hank
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:46 am [Reply]

    @Noel Schornhorst (#46): A Phantom/Spider-man Satellite TV team-up! When couch potatoes collide!

  88. Chip Whittle
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    Hi and Lois face that first shocking moment when they realize their baby is smarter than they are, and their baby thinks the sunbeam talks to her.

    Mandrake: Um…didn’t we do this already, like a month ago? Did we jump back to the third reel?

    Ollie and Quentin: Well. There’s my nightmare for the day. Thanks!

    The Phantom: I’m figuring The Ghost Who Pirates Cable can’t get enough of Cheap Seats. They’re doing a Spelling Bee marathon this weekend!

    Pluggers know that if they don’t actually look directly the smoke then it means their car isn’t belching burnt oil. They learned that trick from watching Perseus defeat Medusa, at least in Clash of the Titans.

  89. bats :[
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:49 am [Reply]

    @pugfuggly (#9): re MT: “Why am I pulling your story, Kelly? Because it talks about chemicals, and chemistry is hard, like math! And ladies like gold. It’s as though that goose is wearing jewelry. Sheesh!”

    @Binder’s Butter Beans (#23): yes, deep in the heart of the Superstition Mountains nestles Walker’s Weiner…
    (dammit…I’ve lived in AZ all my life and never thought of something like that before. And now, until my dying days, whenever we drive through the state, I’ll always remember WW. Thanks bunches, BBB!)

  90. Liam
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:55 am [Reply]

    MT-When did Mark write his story about Mountain Man? Did he hide out in a cheap motel for a few days before returning home to write about Mountain Man?

  91. Edgy DC
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:58 am [Reply]

    Forced to render a New York urban street scene, the Mary Worth creative team somehow manages to keep their streak alive — 73 years without depicting a negro.

  92. Uncle Lumpy
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:59 am [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#83):

    “… the bench where I commune with my dead wife, honey.”

    And sing, “See the tree, how big it’s grown …”

  93. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:00 pm [Reply]

    @Liam (#90): Now that I think of it I don’t remember seeing Mark write anything. Personally, I think all Mark’s articles are ghost written by Andy.

  94. Edgy DC
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:02 pm [Reply]

    I sense, Liam, that you yearn for seome red hot Mark Trail-at-his-typewriter action. With Mark grinding in his sleeveless undershirt, crumpling sheets in frustration, getting on a roll and slamming his return bar.

    Grrow. Who can really blame you?

  95. Walker of Dog
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @charterstoned (#34): With our luck, those Keane children will be as fertile as the Mississippi delta.

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#66): Aryan bunnies make me sad. They have so much trouble with the straight-arm salute.

  96. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:07 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#93): The real challenge for Andy, of course, isn’t typing with those big paws of his; no, it’s sufficiently dumbing down his prose so Bill Ellis believes that Mark actually wrote it.

  97. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:08 pm [Reply]

    MW: “We enjoyed all the same things together, like seeing other kids give themselves crippling head injuries.”

    GT: Fourth panel, Gil says, “Oh, nothing really,” and walks off with an entirely unearned air of accomplishment.

    A3G: I’m chalking Paul’s resistance up to reverse psychology. Note that I am not crediting him with being able to use big words like “psychology” or “reverse.”

    Phantom: I was relieved to find out through Google search that Walker’s Table is supposed to be in the Southwestern US, and that DePaul and Ryan have a better grasp of African plant life than the Crock people do.

    FW: Sunday throwaway panels detach from the Sunday strip and float toward Monday.

    SSmith: You know, if Snuffy can let go of a few inhibitions, he could make some serious jing off this horny flatlander.

    M-Dawg: Bullshit. These dogs are about as homeless as the Queen. In fact you know what you call a homeless chihuahua? A skidmark.

    H&L: It will be amusing to see Hi’s paranoid fear of his infant daughter deepen, especially if her vocabulary grows. “Play horsey? What the hell is that supposed to mean. No, Flagston, don’t play these head games of hers.”

    DtM: Kid, if you’re trying to bury your father alive you’re going about it all wrong.

    Lockhorns: Next PO shooting spree is on your head, Leroy.

    SFx: What the hell, Mama Bird? Max isn’t even a real cop, and you let him poke around your nest and disturb the eggs without pecking him? At this rate you’ll never earn the right to wear clothes.

  98. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:10 pm [Reply]

    as seen on TDC, a look at the various submissions to Team Cul de Sac.

    There are submissions from folks that you would not expect, and there’s a LOT of it. (roughly 4 minutes of video.)

    *applaz*

  99. Baka Gaijin
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:11 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Rosa has all but laid on her back with her legs flailing in the air. Any normal red-blooded American high schooler would be on that like a Plugger on a free Zocor coupon. Gunther loves the cock. NO. OTHER. EXPLANATION.

  100. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:16 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#96): Ha!

    We don’t have to worry about Andy’s typing. He dictates the story and has typists to do the typing.

  101. bats :[
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#135Y): I keep telling people: don’t bring this to my attention, and we’ll all be happier.
    (In the meantime…TRIFECTA!)

  102. Walker of Dog
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:19 pm [Reply]

    GT: This week’s Hand-thing of the Week contest has been opened to the readership. Vote for your favorite:

    Organ Pipe Cactus (Gil – left)
    A Failed Salute to Aquaman (Gil – right)
    Trouble at the Sawmill (Kenny – left)
    The Unlucky Monkey Paw (Kenny – right)

    The winning hand-thing will be unveiled this Friday, in your nightmares.

  103. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    FW: Cayla’s trying out Latina today. She only needs to change her name to Dolores — to match the strip.

  104. bats :[
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:25 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#98): omgosh, this is nothing less than wonderful…Mutts versions! And Bodacious!
    *standing applaz!*

  105. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:26 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#98): Wow–so much amazing stuff! I want the Mutts comics (among others).

  106. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:30 pm [Reply]

  107. Vince M
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:31 pm [Reply]

    I’ve put my finger on why I’m always bugged at these strips that soberly comment on ‘these tough economic times’ as a joke – it’s the conceit of ‘feeling your pain’ from a cartoonist that has more job security than a postal service worker. They have a steady job no matter how lazy and half-assed their work is!

  108. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:33 pm [Reply]

  109. Walker of Dog
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    MW: Bobby demonstrates his horrifying command of time and space, then turns and stares straight into our souls. “Would you like a piece of me, gentle reader?”

    FW: Poor Cayla. She thinks Les is finally going to take her out back and put her down.

    Phan: Once Kit has set up his laser-based satellite destroyer at Walker’s Pepper Grinder, he will rest in the shade of the majestic Namibian saguaro.

    Plug: Pluggers and their cars both put out noxious fumes and consider the Federal government to be their greatest enemy.

  110. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:35 pm [Reply]

    FC: Yesterday’s strip was funny because it made the comedic observation that when kids play baseball they pretend they’re baseball players, and today’s strip is funny because it made the comedic observation that when their father buys a tent, kids think they’re going to sleep outside. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s strip. Maybe it will be funny because it will make the comedic observation that when kids stand in the middle of busy highways they go splat.

    Gasoline Alley: So, after all that rigmarole, the company is going to send out an entirely new unit rather than dispatching a repairman to look the existing one over to find out if it’s been hooked up properly? (I still say they told the water company to shut off the water because they’re going on vacation.)

    GT: To gain Kenny’s trust, Gil is flashing gang signs.

    Six Chix: Girls regularly cut off their hair in the summer? Who knew?

    Speed Bump: Bet he’s got a wicked slice.

    @Chip Whittle (#78):

    Funky Winkerbean: OK, quick quiz: are Les and Cayla inside Montoni’s or outside? Because either the window name is painted backwards or someone hung the curtains and tiled the sidewalk next to the cute little outdoor-eating alcove.

    You know, when I first read the strip I thought they were outside — which just shows that I pay more attention to the written word than to visual clues. In retrospect, this could explain why I almost get run over at intersections with Walk signs.

  111. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:36 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#98): A fitting tribute to Cul de Sac!

  112. Roxanne
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    I read today’s Mary Worth as, “hey Gina; check HIM out! PS, I’m into dudes, sorry to ruin this idyllic childhood of yours!”

  113. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#101): Wonderful!

  114. caliban
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:37 pm [Reply]

    Apt. 3G: Paul’s predicament: Same as Mickey Mouse in the old brilliant Franklin Ajaye routine. Mofo didn’t draw no dick on him.

    Is Mark Trail’s “editor” really so dense he discusses anything in front of that woman? What a maroon.

    http://www.hark.com/clips/nsvdjzkfdz-what-a-maroon

  115. Walker of Dog
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:40 pm [Reply]

    JP: As Randy reaches into his pocket, Margaret’s Army Ranger training kicks in. Randy is quickly taken down by three high-velocity manila folders.

    DT: Mina feeds her plants a balanced mix of nitrogen, potassium, and paranoia, helping them grow up healthy and deeply distrustful.

    FC: In consumer news, Tent model 62A was recalled today after a rash of deaths caused when the tent material shrank rapidly in the rain, quickly smothering anyone inside. The manufacturer, Thmmnmnm, had no comment.

  116. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:42 pm [Reply]

    FC: Billy’s arms. Isn’t that the international symbol of a gorilla walking?

  117. erdmann
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:44 pm [Reply]

    MW: So white… so very white. It’s like a ’70s Wonder Bread commercial. [Shudder]

  118. Jeff Soesbe (yeff)
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:45 pm [Reply]

    And in our next thrilling episode, watch as the Phantom realizes that one solar panel really isn’t enough juice to run a 50 inch big screen with surround sound and Netflix streaming HD. Oh, the drama!

    - yeff

  119. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:51 pm [Reply]

    9CL: Oh please! There are almost 2,000 hits for “deitize” on Google (353 hits on Bing). It’ll be in Merriam-Webster before Christmas.

  120. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:57 pm [Reply]

    I’d say it’s a pretty good bet that’s a reused piece of Mark Trail art, seeing as how Bill Ellis is using one of the original Bell prototype telephones you have to shout to be heard through.

  121. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    Herb & Jamaal: Someone dragged me to a baseball game once. I’m pretty much with Herb on this one.

  122. balthazar
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:58 pm [Reply]

    fw – does cayla know that les is now dating viola davis?

    oh, wait … that’s just batiuk’s artist unable to draw characters consistently.

  123. Ned Ryerson
    August 15th, 2011 at 12:59 pm [Reply]

    FC: Tent model 62A! Tent model 62 was recalled. Thmmnmnm Industries has altered the manufacturing process so that measurable traces of formaldehyde in the product are at or below industry standards. Sleep tight little melonheads!

  124. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:00 pm [Reply]

    @Edgy DC (#91): Forced to render a New York urban street scene, the Mary Worth creative team somehow manages to keep their streak alive — 73 years without depicting a negro.

    Ironically, Karen Moy is herself a minority:

    http://www.tsscontent.ca/comics/content__1/web_content/comics/mary_worth/the_cartoonist

  125. This Guy
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:03 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#119): What amazes me is that Brooke had to resort to “coining” a word instead of whipping out an obscure, Elizabethan term from his unzipped vocabulary-pants.

  126. Droopy Says
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:19 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#83): FW – “Let’s go for a walk. I want to take you to the bench where I commune with my dead wife, honey.”

    “Commune?” Not this time.

    Cayla: “Look at the big symbol chalked on the sidewalk.”
    Les: “Kids playing, dear. Kids playing. Hopscotch.”
    Cayla: “The symbol is a circle of strange symbols.”
    Les: “It’s Westview hopscotch.”
    Cayla: “What’s that thick book under your arm.”
    Les: “It’s the notes for my next book.”
    Cayla: “You already have a title . . . the Necronomicon.”
    Les: “My lawyer tells me it isn’t copyrighted. Cthulhu can’t touch me.”
    Cayla: “Whatever. Read some to me.”
    Les: “Y’ai ‘ng’nah, Yog-Sothoth, Dead Lisa.”
    Cayla: “I’m not Lisa . . . no, I am.”
    Les: “I knew I could bring you back.”
    Cayla/Lisa: “Where’s our daughter?”
    Les: “Lying on the altar in the basement. Do you like my new shirt?”

  127. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:22 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#119): After reading the strip in its entirety, I think Brooke got his inspiration from “denitize” — to remove louse eggs and/or pretentious stinkpens from one’s environment.

  128. commodorejohn
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:26 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#126): That is…unsettlingly plausible.

  129. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:27 pm [Reply]

    Blondie: Ha, ha! Technology! Amirite?

    Crock: Oh, sweet Isis… Please don’t let this be the week Crock discovers continuing story lines.

    FC: “God DAMN it, Bil! I wanted you to get some T-N-T! I wasn’t spelling it out!”

    FW: Ha ha! “Let’s go for a walk”! That’s our Les! Oh, my sides are aching!!!

    GA: I will lay down good money against anyone who says that this plot line won’t be resolved by discovering that the circuit breaker was tripped the whole time.

    HotC: Unfortunately, that’s the way I write.

    Shoe: Ha, ha! A joke about a car that hasn’t been made for 6 years! Timely!

  130. Sparkle Plenty
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:29 pm [Reply]

    MT: I hate Bill. And Kelly. And Mark.

  131. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:33 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#124): Moy may be a minority, but the artist, Joe Giella isn’t. What’s really strange, though, is that he’s been an artist for Marvel, DC, and a host of other publications that actually talent. Here’s a tribute he drew to comic artist Joe Sinnott on Joe’s 80th birthday.

  132. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:35 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#126): Les: “Y’ai ‘ng’nah, Yog-Sothoth, Dead Lisa.”

    Bah! In my day, spells were spells. Now everything’s all Necro#. Call a function and pass it a couple of arguments, ka-chunk, done deal! Lemme tell ya, transmigration used to mean some serious bit twiddling.

  133. lynn
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:37 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: Oh, if only he hadn’t dropped E. Chesley on the Emu’s doorstep. E. Chesley could have hooked up all that technology stuff in a flash, and then Phantom could have dropped him gently off the edge of Walker’s Table.

  134. Effluvius Erratus
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:38 pm [Reply]

    @This Guy (#125): Of course, God could have said, “It makes [being God] much easier…” (as if concepts like “easy” or “difficult” have any meaning to an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being) but it seems that Brooke has dropped the fourth “Omni-” traditionally used to describe the Supreme Being— omnibenevolence—and replaced it with omnipretentiousness.

  135. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @The Spectacular Spider-Brick (#129): You’re on. I’m guessing they arranged to have the water cut off before going on vacation.

    And by “good money,” you mean “pretend,” right? Like the government does?

  136. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:39 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#131): But shouldn’t Mary’s button read “Ask me about cake”?

  137. commodorejohn
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:41 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#132): Oh good lord, next you’ll be on about the time you wrote a whole necromancy stack in three months and then had to re-sort the tarot punch-cards after someone dropped the box…

  138. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:43 pm [Reply]

    @Écureuil Écumant (#136): When Mary wants to tell you about cake, she tells you about cake. Asking is not an option.

  139. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:46 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#137): A different kind of “OOPs programming.”

  140. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:51 pm [Reply]

    @balthazar (#122): W00t woot!

    Sorry. I live in Rhode Island and went to the same school as Viola Davis. She’d already graduated so I don’t know her, but I figured there was at least a sound effect in order.

  141. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:54 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#137): Well, you’d’a been pissed off too if it almost cost you your Stargate Project contract.

  142. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 1:55 pm [Reply]

    @Edgy DC (#91): @Rocky Stoneaxe (#124): Maybe Joe Giella gives everyone (save the occasional Peace Villager) caucasian features because he doesn’t have faith in the colorist’s ability to keep characters distinct. I don’t know how much benefit that particular doubt is worth, but it’s something.

  143. The Spectacular Spider-Brick
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    @Pozzo (#61) wrote:

    Looks like the Phantom has set up shop in Coconino County. It’ll be worth it if we get to see him hit in the head with a brick.

    I’ll get right on it!

  144. A Woman of a Certain Age
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Pickles: Way to go, Opal!

    FW: And on a related note, Cayla’s ‘stache looks less prominent today.

  145. Ned Ryerson
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:04 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: So how does Walker’s Table work. There’s a cave at the top. Is there an elevator or internal staircase? (Don’t tell me he has to do a free climb up the side of that thing!) What about plumbing? How does he get out to that location? Is there a concealed garage on the ground level? You can’t just show us that remote, forbidding geologic feature that the Phantom is inhabiting without some explanations. (Wouldn’t he really be better off using one of those decomissioned missile silos for a secret lair, just from a practicality and accessibility standpoint?)

    Oh wait, I just read through some of the previous comments. So Walker’s Table is the broader formation in the background and this spire-like thing (Walker’s Meatwhistle?) is just an incidental landscape feature? Nevermind.

  146. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:07 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#83):

    Luann – No, I’m pretty sure even the most devout and immaculate priest has a healthier sex life than Gunther.

    Not even gonna go there.

  147. Mustang
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:19 pm [Reply]

    And I do my Psych homework in Spanish class. This way I have my evenings free to pump my friends for embarrassing confessions that I then pass on to other people. Beats the hell out of golf.

  148. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:20 pm [Reply]

    @Ned Ryerson (#145):

    Walker’s Table comes with six chairs — like any decent dining room set!

  149. Voshkod
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:27 pm [Reply]

    Cartoonist Skateboarding Park is the best! First I did a grind on the “Moy & Giella” block, now I’m heading over to do an Ollie over the “Elrod Ball.” Sicknasty!

  150. seismic-2
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Now that Sheriff Dad has busted Myson Mike and the Clean-cut Kids gang and has confiscated their trove of 1950s-era console televisions from their cave in the mountain, Phantom can go into the cave in his mountain and start fencing his hot stash of purloined high-tech satellite TVs, without fear of competition.

  151. Chip Whittle
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:31 pm [Reply]

    Ben: Look, a guy steals a Big Boy sculpture, hollows it out, puts it on, and strolls around his house. What’s to explain?

    Brevity: Happy Earth Day! Four months ago! Wait, how do calendars work again?

    Dark Side Of The Horse: No snark here; I’m just amused.

    Fat Cats: This isn’t enough shower curtain if we’re supposed to imagine Leo having a “cat-bath”. It’s also not enough brain bleach.

    For Heaven’s Sake: If you ever wanted to see the illegitimate child of Kudzu and Compu-Toon look no farther!

    Garfield: And with the year not two-thirds finished, Garfield not just beats Get Fuzzy in the “diversity of settings and plots” race but actually laps it.

  152. Mary Worthless
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:54 pm [Reply]

    Any second now, Bobby is going to get a tweet about the flash mob gathering in the Bowery and he and his boarder gang are going down to spread some anarchy.

  153. Chip Whittle
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    Banana Triangle: See, it’s funny because it has the word “vuvuzela” in it. That’s all it takes to be funny, right?

    Love Is… not putting everything under the magnifying glass, while Mrs. Is puts Mr. Is under the magnifying glass. I’m just saying, maybe we should look at it more carefully next time Mrs. Is is mourning the late Mr. Is.

    Lucky Cow: I’d pout about the idea of a fast food place not turning up the air conditioning way way waaaaay too high except I like the crazy guy saying, “I’m going to pour on some cherry syrup and try to eat him!” It’s just so…so…you know?

    Yenny: Her business plan would be based on shoes, except there’s giant kangaroos with smaller feet than Yenny has.

  154. Little Guy
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:57 pm [Reply]

    Luann: Episcolpalians and Eastern Orthodox priests frown on your shenanigans, Evans.

    9CL: If I was to take a DeLorean back in time to 2003 and tell a younger version of myself that, in the future, the Red Sox would have won the World Series (twice), we’d have a black President, and I would be overjoyed at a sustained Thorax sighting, guess which of these my younger self would have the hardest time believing.

  155. Red Greenback
    August 15th, 2011 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    “My childhood was a happy time… a time when kids could walk Dagwood Bumstead-style with impunity.”

  156. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    PHANTOM — Does the Phantom actually own Walker’s Table, or has he just claimed it on account of because he and his long line of virtuous purple ancestors deserved to have it? Is there any chance I’m going to wake up some morning and see a guy in purple tights standing on my land and declaring it Walker’s Prairie? Actually, if he could arrange for me to get broadband out here, we might have a deal.

  157. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#151): “Dark Side of the Horse” is a sort of new one to me, but I enjoy how the cracks even extend beyond the panel.

  158. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:02 pm [Reply]

    @Chip Whittle (#153): “Yenny: Her business plan would be based on shoes, except there’s giant kangaroos with smaller feet than Yenny has.”

    That just calls for some entrepreneurial ingenuity: Today’s Yenny shoes are tomorrow’s Hooverville homes.

  159. jayjaybear
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:07 pm [Reply]

    FW: Examines several-months-old FW strips. Skin tone, nose, hair…”Cayla-ology recapitulates Jacko-ology”. In another year, she’ll be chalk white with no nose, answering to a charge of child molestation.

  160. Liam
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:09 pm [Reply]

    @Edgy DC (#94):

    That is better than the image I came up with of Mark holed up in a hotel in a Hunter S. Thompson like drug induced stupor.

  161. commodorejohn
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:10 pm [Reply]

    @jayjaybear (#159): Nah. If anybody’s going to be making with the child molestation, it’s Les “stare creepily at my daughter while she plays basketball and imagine her as her mother” Moore.

  162. Écureuil Écumant
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:16 pm [Reply]

    @jayjaybear (#159): And donating the spare of each new pair of white gloves to Becky.

  163. Liam
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:17 pm [Reply]

    FC-Now we get to spend a week watching the kids spend a night outside. What sort of things will they encounter in the wilderness just a mere few feet from their house? Watch as the presence of their dogs terrify the children and revert them to a “Lord of the Flies” stage.

  164. Mysterious shirtless lawyer
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    “We Phantoms used to be far from home here at Walker’s giant throbbing penis!”

  165. TheDiva
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:22 pm [Reply]

    @commodorejohn (#83): re: Luann: Gunther would turn out to be one of those priests who ends up doing unspeakably gruesome things to women in order to punish them for “forcing” lustful thoughts upon him. (This does help explain his nervousness around Rosa, however: I mean, how do you politely ask a lady her iron maiden size?)

  166. Marion Delgado
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:37 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom: NEXT: A Visit from Spider-Man!

  167. commodorejohn
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    @TheDiva (#165): Yargh. He’d make Frollo look like Mr. Rogers.

  168. AndyL
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm [Reply]

    I love that solar panel. A solar panel that large might charge your cellphone if you left it in direct sunlight all day. Well, not your phone. You probably have a smart phone. It could charge Mark Trail’s cellphone.

  169. Katy
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:43 pm [Reply]

    @Mustang (#147): Would you be interested to know that my monitor size constrained your sentences to wrap in such a way that I read your post as “That’s why I have my evenings free to pump my breasts”?

    You wouldn’t?

    Righty-o.

  170. Dood
    August 15th, 2011 at 3:54 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom: The Ghost-whose-at-home-on-the-mesa just wants to be able to listen to First Wave on his SiriusXM radio. “It’s the one thing,” he thinks, as he anticipates cranking INXS within the comforts of his cave complex.

  171. Baka Gaijin
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Reply]

    @Katy (#169): WHAT????? Monitor size constrained breasts? Huh?

  172. Baka Gaijin
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:01 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#171): That’d be a great band name.

  173. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:02 pm [Reply]

    @But What Do I Know? (#21): I took psychology in high school for a semester as a social studies elective, so Thorp isn’t full of hot gas on this one.

  174. ArchieNemesis
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:06 pm [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#24): There’s nothing inadequate about the “Take THAT, Greatest Generation!” guy, I’d bet.

  175. Violet
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:07 pm [Reply]

    I can see the risks involved in Paul and LuAnn embarking upon a sexual relationship. I mean, suppose he accidentally knocked her up; there’s no telling what that kid would look like.

  176. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:13 pm [Reply]

    A3G: This whole awkward relationship will be worth it if tomorrow features Margo walking in on them, with Paul cowering on the sofa while Luann furiously humps his leg.

  177. Marthas Rolling Pin
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:16 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#156): Walker’s Table featured in a story line 5-6 years ago. It was given its name after one of the Ghostly Ancestors (back in the Phantom Nnteen sequence) wandered over to the New World and did someone a favor. Far as I know, it doesn’t actually belong to the Walkers, but they have perpetual access. It actually is the phallic pillar in the foreground. Present Phantom took Diana there for some R & R, found it being occupied by some other shaman/ghost/shapeshifter/doer of right, and kind of teamed up with him to wipe out a little gang of animal poachers/murderers who were hanging around the neighborhood. There is a way up other than free climbing, but no details were offered.

    BTW, Cousin Stevie has been missing in action for a couple of weeks now, just as your old alma mater Maumee University was about to get into the picture. Can you pull any strings to get him found?

  178. seismic-2
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:18 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: “Those idiot kidnappers back in Bengalla thought they could hack into bank accounts using an 80486-based computer running Windows 95. Amateurs!!!”, he says as he types in a few keystrokes and the Dow plunges another 400 points while the Walker account in the Bank of Zurich swells by $750M. After all, why do you think he put up with soon-to-be Dr. E. Chesley Annoyance for the last month?

  179. Dangerous Danny Dumbbutt
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:19 pm [Reply]

    The Phantom is now “The Ghost Who Watches Cinemax.”

    Meanwhile, in Mary Worth, the kids are enjoying the local skateboard team, “The Lords of Bananatown.”

  180. ArchieNemesis
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:23 pm [Reply]

    I’m alarmed by the banana board, as well as the socks with sandals rumor. After minimal research and a cursory glance, I have determined skater boy is rockin’ that banana board with high-top sneakers.

    Check out his poser buddy at the curb, shaking his fist in mock exasperation at the ollie twist flipping that he’ll never be able to duplicate. Poser buddy is clearly wearing high-tops. Isn’t he?

    They actually made banana-curved boards decades ago before they realized how much they sucked. It’s all so sad. Depictions like these tarnish the image of skateboarding.

  181. bats :[
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:28 pm [Reply]

    @Binder’s Butter Beans (#23): the more I think about it, the more I think this is a golden opportunity for everyone to learn a little about Arizona (heaven knows we can use the good publicity!). So I guess I ought to apologize to Kit…

  182. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:31 pm [Reply]

    Phantom: What puzzles me about the Phantom (in general, not this particular strip) is his epithet, “The Ghost Who Walks.” Outside of Casper cartoons and the like, all ghosts walk! There’s absolutely nothing special about a ghost walking. Now if he were were “The Ghost Who Runs,” perhaps. That’s certainly less common. Or maybe “The Ghost Who Rides Motorcycles” … no, maybe not. Then he’d be Nicholas Cage and we certainly don’t want that.

  183. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:41 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#181): You did it bats :{! Everything one needs to know about Arizona is right there in two panels. In a single mashup you melded the knowledge of desert life into a wonderful story that can be told for generations. If I wore a hat I would tip it to you!

  184. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:45 pm [Reply]

    @Frank Lee Meidere (#182): Ah, but at least in the comics, Ghost Rider wasn’t really a ghost. He was a guy who sold his soul and got powers plus a nasty alter ego. Marvel went with “Ghost Rider” because the Comics Code Authority wouldn’t approve their original choice of title: “Biker With a Burning Fucking Skull for a Head! Holy Shit!”

  185. btown
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:49 pm [Reply]

    MW: It’s fun to imagine that Bobby and Gina, along with the couple on the right, are all doing the Twist in panel 1 – being the irrepressibly exuberant New York street urchins that they are. And being how The Twist and Skateboarding are synonyms for Youth to all the Pluggers who read this strip.

  186. Droopy Says
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:55 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#181): Love the eyes in the cave, bats[: Wile E. Coyote, right?

  187. bourbon babe, unbuckled
    August 15th, 2011 at 4:59 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#176): By the way, it will also be worth it if it turns out that the single thing that destroys this great love between Paul and Luann, the one tragic flaw in their relationship, is that Paul just won’t put out. Because if nothing else, then we might get to see the aftermath: The ladies getting tipsy and rehashing the affair:
    Margo: “What good is a penis if the guy isn’t even going to use it?”
    Luann: “I know! I mean, c’mon! I couldn’t beli– Wait, what’s a penis?”
    Tommy: ((sigh, reaches down)) “Okay, here, I’ll show you.”

  188. Some Guy
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:11 pm [Reply]

    @Cloudbuster (#68): Sorry, I’m with Luann on the “it’s possible for guys to be sexually harassed” thing. Of course, in my case it turned out the girls weren’t remotely interested in me, they just thought it’d be amusing to make a scene that I’d find embarassing.

  189. Some Guy
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:13 pm [Reply]

    I agree, however, that Greg Evans’ attempt at conveying this fact is unintentionally hilarious.

  190. Katy
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:21 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#171): It would also make a fabulous New York Post headline.

  191. mr12ozcan
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:22 pm [Reply]

    gil thorp- all we needed was for gil to ask in the second panal top shelf or rack
    mary worth-a skateboard cheering section with no one drinking a forty and where were the helmets
    mark trail-i went into borders today and asked for wildlife magazine they said its probably sold out since it was 50% off and there going out of business

  192. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:26 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#181): Wonderful.

  193. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:28 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#187): Oh please please please let this one ascend the float please please.

  194. Sequitur
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:30 pm [Reply]

    @bourbon babe, unbuckled (#187): I’m not sure if you want us to think that Tommie is a drag queen or she keeps a penis in her purse.

  195. Dagger
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:32 pm [Reply]

    “Like it’s her job? Oh I understand. That means she’s letting some random guy off the street drink himself to death FOR her, right?”

  196. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:33 pm [Reply]

    @Marthas Rolling Pin (#177): Thank you for that excellent explanation. Clear, concise, informative, no odd ponytails or strange short pointing arms — see, MW, it can be done!

    As for Stevie, it seems, alas, that I can do nothing except weep softly and hope the site guy somehow finds the missing strips. If pulling strings could help, I’d be yanking them all.

  197. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    @Sequitur (#194): If Tommie turns out to be a drag queen, I will loudly proclaim this strip to be the greatest story comic strip EVER.

    And talk about expanding my stereotypes of what drag queens are like.

  198. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#172):

    You get Turner Classic Movies in your part of the world, Baka? Today they showed He Who Gets Slapped (1924) with Lon Chaney Sr. starring as an evilscaryclown a poor misunderstood clown. TCM also showed Chaney’s Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), but I was only able to catch the first film.

  199. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:40 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#197): Sorry, meant to change “stereotypes” to “ideas.”

  200. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:41 pm [Reply]

    GT — I kinda figured everyone drank in this strip.

  201. Artist formerly known as Ben
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:42 pm [Reply]

    @Poteet (#197): Likewise if hard(ly) working editor Bill Ellis turns out to be a drag king…

  202. bats :[
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:48 pm [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#186): maybe, maybe not…if it were Wile E. Coyote, wouldn’t they just be painted on? :)

  203. demoncat
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:54 pm [Reply]

    mw little did i know bobby was so impressed by that skateboarder that he took it up but sadly wound up in a horrible skate boarding accident while i was busy with the skate board kid cheating on him.

  204. Droopy Says
    August 15th, 2011 at 5:56 pm [Reply]

    @bats :[ (#202): Yeah, I can see the Ghost-Who-Falls-For-It walking into a painted-on cave entry. But it would be equally cool if that’s the Road Runner, waiting to startle Kit with a hearty “Beep! Beep!” Walker’s Table is made for one of those long falls!

  205. Effluvius Erratus
    August 15th, 2011 at 6:40 pm [Reply]

    @demoncat (#203):

    …while i was busy with the skate board kid cheating on him.

    At first I recoiled at the thought of prepubescent children having sex, but then I remembered that all one needs to do to “cheat” in Santa Royale is to have thoughts that flirt around the edges of maybe thinking about looking into the possibility of questioning the universal validity of Mary’s vague and unspoken ideas of proper behavior.

  206. dale
    August 15th, 2011 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    MW – Gina hung out with Dondi and his hooligan pals?

    GT – What is Gil’s actual function at the country club this summer?
    All he has done is instigate an illegal gambling conspiracy involving minors who are students at the public high school where he is a glorified gym teacher.
    [Does Kenny go to Milford HS?]

  207. Mr. O'Malley
    August 15th, 2011 at 7:07 pm [Reply]

    I recently saw a skateboarder who looked and dressed as a skateboarder should, but he had set his skateboard down and was engrossed in a magazine. Curious as to the reading habits of skateboarders, I glanced over as I passed by to discover … The Economist.

    So the next time you see a bunch of skateboarders, just think “There go the next generation of venture capitalists”.

  208. queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando
    August 15th, 2011 at 7:08 pm [Reply]

    @Effluvius Erratus (#205): “At first I recoiled at the thought of prepubescent children having sex,” but then I remembered Love Is. . . . and realized that the thoughts could be far, far worse.

  209. MWDG
    August 15th, 2011 at 7:54 pm [Reply]

    MW: Is this Bayside High or Riverview? Is Jessie still addicted to caffeine? Zack looks cool on that skateboard.

    On a sadder note the boy in the red shirt is missing a hand…Oppsy Doodle!

  210. Dennis
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:03 pm [Reply]

    Good thing for that expense account. It’s a long way to Canada. Mark Trail’s gonna need an awful lot of Dr. Pepper and Slim Jims.

  211. Ivar Ragnarsson the Berserker
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:30 pm [Reply]

    Well now, looks like Hagar’s piloting the Nessie Mark IV. From what I hear, it’s light and maneuverable, but between the balsa-wood mast and the Styrofoam shielding, ya give up a little sturdiness in exchange.

  212. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:21 pm [Reply]

    MW Most skateboarders wear shorts, albeit not khaki. It doesn’t bring out the color of gashes, scabs, and bruises that lead to broken bone stories.

  213. Rixter
    August 15th, 2011 at 9:44 pm [Reply]

    A3G: Uh-oh. Lu Ann has really messed up. Paul’s jaw is clenched with disgust. He can’t respect her now that she has shown herself to be such a wanton weak vessel. “Speak for yourself.” And so he will, Lu Ann. Paul will speak for himself and for decency, chastity, and restraint. Prepare yourself for a good long lecture. Well, a lecture that will fit in one panel, with just a little room left for you to whimper softly.

  214. Baka Gaijin
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#198): He Who Gets Slapped sounds like a happy movie. It gets ruined when other clowns are doing the slapping instead of getting slapped themselves. I didn’t watch it myself. The helpful folks at Wikipedia did.

    That other movie has a happy ending, where the clown falls off a highwire and kills himself but could be a much better flick if they opened with that scene and renamed it from Laugh, Clown, Laugh to Die, Clown, Die. I’m no Roger Ebert but I’d give the latter two thumbs up.

  215. Mr. O'Malley
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:53 pm [Reply]

    @Baka Gaijin (#214): I always thought, with all respect to those movie classics, that Shakes the Clown was the ultimate clown movie. The one that all the clowns were picketing back when it came out.

  216. YoungMrGrace
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:19 pm [Reply]

    Luanne’s might be the first sex scene brought to you by abstinence only education.

  217. Poteet
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:29 pm [Reply]

    MW — How old are these alleged children supposed to be? Ten, twenty-five, seventeen, what?

  218. Just some guy
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:48 pm [Reply]

    Paul will turn out to be Lu Ann’s long lost brother.
    PLEASE

  219. Sgt. Stoned
    August 15th, 2011 at 11:59 pm [Reply]

    SS: Gay liberation comes to Hootin Holler.

    MW: Gina’s childhood neighborhood certainly does look like Aryan Nation. All kidding aside, maybe those really were nazi salutes she and Paul were greeting each other with the other day.

  220. Col. Havoc
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:05 am [Reply]

    First thing I thought of when I saw the skateboarder flipping his board in the second panel, to everyone’s apparent delight:
    Wow, he’s doing the trick!

  221. commodorejohn
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:06 am [Reply]

    @YoungMrGrace (#216): Oh, clearly you haven’t seen Mitchell.

  222. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:12 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#197):

    If Tommie turns out to be a drag queen, I will loudly proclaim this strip to be the greatest story comic strip EVER.

    Tommie’s a butterface — which makes her more Dairy Queen than drag queen.

  223. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:33 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#215): For me, it would be Killer Clowns from Outer Space. A classic!

  224. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:40 am [Reply]

    Dick Tracy — Hot damn… Hot Rize is back from the dead! (And she knows where Flakey Biscuits is hiding out!)

  225. Droopy Says
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:45 am [Reply]

    The Amusing Spiderman: Call of the wildly obvious: the coat and hat contain stolen jewelry placed there, impossibly, by the ruffians who looted the Croesus* Jewelry Shop. Jameson will face a moral crisis: should he clear Spiderass or let him go to jail? Of course Jameson will do the right thing. Otherwise the strip will change beyond recognition. Spidermonkey will end up in jail, lounging around all day as he watches TV . . . uh . . .

    * (Up yours, whoever made it “Kreesus.” Quit catering to subliterates.)

    Phantom: Kit, wouldn’t it have been easier to stay home and talk to the family face-to-face?

    Dennis the Nuisance: Of course Margaret acts snooty. Unlike Dennis and Joey, her ancestors came down from the trees, walked upright and discovered fire.

    Curtis: The sad thing is, getting an innocent kid arrested probably is the sweetest thing Curtis ever did. But even if it turns out that Chutney’s cousin is the biggest jerk around, it’s going to be real hard to like her after this.

    EffYou Wankerbeat: Cayla smiles. “Five panels!” she thinks. “I knew he’d bring up Dead Lisa after five panels! I win the weekly pool at Montoni’s!”

    Mock Trail: I’m glad that Bill Ellis used panel three to explain what he said in panel two.

  226. Droopy Says
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    @Rocky Stoneaxe (#224): My guess is that we’re seeing Hot Rize’s twin sister/twin brother/cousin/lab-produced clone, and she’s out for revenge on Flakey Biscuits. But whatever she is, it’s cool–Hot Rize was a lot more interesting than the recycled bad guys.

  227. Maggie the Cat
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:50 am [Reply]

    MW- Ohhhhh…. I get it now. Bobby and Gina were in a gang and Bobby was killed in a gang related incident.

  228. This Guy
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:53 am [Reply]

    @YoungMrGrace (#216): Thaaank you, Mr. Grace.

    @commodorejohn (#221): Oh, my, my, my, MY GOD!

  229. Frank Lee Meidere
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:59 am [Reply]

    Aug. 16

    GT: Was that a mistake, or was it intentional? Kenny says “Intermission,” but Gil repeats it as “Intersession.” So was there supposed to be some misunderstanding because Gil, in fact, is thinking of an intersession? Or did the writer screw up?

    Ah, who cares? In the end they’re just going to do some bleeding-heart, interfering thing and turn Kenny’s mother from a quiet drunk into a damned “useful” member of society. Maybe Gil can help her get started on setting up illegal gambling grifts.

  230. Rocky Stoneaxe
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:00 am [Reply]

    Cop: Spidey, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

    Spider-Man: WAAA!

  231. Lisa
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:17 am [Reply]

    Based on these last few comics, I’m pretty sure that isn’t sexy wexy Kelly Welly, but, in fact, Mark Trail in drag.

    Bad news for Cayla… Her hair is getting long, and in the Funkiverse female hair length is inversely proportional to power.

    Has everyone already agreed that Bobby is Gina’s dad’s illegitimate son? Or has bastard child been determined to be more PC?

  232. bats :[
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    @Droopy Says (#225): and just as I was going to start to collect bets on what would be August 16′s most-jeered strip, too!

  233. ElkMeadow
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:26 am [Reply]

    The comics have presented us with many wonderful images today, but none are more delightful than young Gina and her boyfriend taking in the world’s most wholesome skateboard kid and his ludicrously clean-cut cheering section. “Look, Gina!” Bobby’s saying in panel two. “This guy’s doing some awesome tricks, and yet he’s wearing khaki shorts and has neatly parted hair! Have you ever seen the like?”

    Well, yes, now we have seen the like. Tuesday’s MW has Bobby AND Gina skateboarding together, on matching skateboards, while friends cheer them on!

  234. Walker of Dog
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:30 am [Reply]

    8/16 strips:

    JP: Will we finally see a confrontation with the Lurker of the Parking Garage?

    MT: All of the stilted dialogue of a porn flick, with none of the distracting copulation.

    S-M: Bolding failure and a Ricky Ricardo reference? Big day.

    FC: Four tent stakes, four kids…

  235. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:40 am [Reply]

    @This Guy (#228): You’ve all done very well!

  236. Walker of Dog
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:41 am [Reply]

    @Che (#235): Is that you, Ghost Who Hawks Satellite Dishes?

  237. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:48 am [Reply]

    MT — I shall once again be a party pooper by pointing out that this latest story of Mark’s, like his last one, is almost certainly going to be about someone who is BREAKING THE FERKING LAW. I’d like to shake Mark until his teeth rattle in his clean-cut head.

    “Banding birds requires capturing the birds and handling them before the banding takes place. The banding of birds in the United States is controlled under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and requires a U. S. Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit. There is no fee for this permit. U.S. Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permits are valid for a period of 3 years. Some states require a state permit as well. Only official federal bands may be legally placed on birds that are released to the wild within the United States.”

  238. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 1:53 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#238): I do realize that Bible Bird Bander might be Canadian. But I’d bet that Canada also has a federal permit system for bird banding, since Canada also participates in Migratory Bird Treaty protection.

  239. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:02 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#238): And oh yeah, there’s also what’s below. And what are the odds that Mystery Bible Goose Bander even BEGINS to fit this description? Mark, you and your editor are tools and your magazine should be called OUTDOOR IGNORAMUSES.

    “All applicants must be fully trained prior to applying for a bird banding permit. In addition to the signed application you will need to submit a complete research proposal documenting the goals, purpose and project in detail. A resume of your banding experience should include numbers of hours worked, level of supervision, species diversity, and numbers of birds handled. These numbers do not need to be exact. You must be able to determine the species, age, and sex of the species to be banded. Be certain if you are requesting permission to use mist nets, blood sample, etc. that your skills are documented in these areas. Three references are required. Once all three have been received, master permit applications may take 2-3 months to process, so please plan accordingly. Subpermit applications may take up to 2 months. We process applications as quickly as possible, in the order received.”

  240. Lisa
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:09 am [Reply]

    @queek, source of Cuteness, Kawaii Commando (#208): The thing about Love is, I’m not sure if it’s the nudity, occasional clothing, the fact that the ancillary characters are always clothed or the intermittent black soulless eyes that make it so disturbing, but it is. Love is … Creepy. Yet I continue to look at it as one watches a python devour a rodent.

  241. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:12 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#237): I shall finish this extended rant (sorry about that) by promising to try not to rant all the way through this goose-banding storyline. Emphasis on try. But first I shall snarl that if Mark were actually interested in doing outdoor journalism, there’s a lot of bird-banding research that might be of more interest to readers of outdoor magazines than stories about random gold bands with Bible verses. For example, a bird-banding study of dickcissels was done partly on my land to try to learn more about their complicated sex lives, which are a helluva lot more interesting than anything Lu Ann and Paul will ever do, which of course is saying very, very little.

  242. Lisa
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:14 am [Reply]

    Does the young Dr. Drew Cory look enough like first love Bobby to allow Gina to work out her incestuous fantasies?

  243. Poteet
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    8/16

    FW — Kill him, Cayla. Pick up a large rock and put us all out of our misery. No sane jury would convict.

    LUANN — Yearrrgh, it’s like squeaky chalk on a blackboard.

    MW — So what city on what planet is this?

  244. ElkMeadow
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:32 am [Reply]

    Good night, Poteet, sweet dreams.

  245. Droopy Says
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:35 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#241): I know it’s risky to conclude anything from the “art” in Mark Trail, but the pictures made the golden band look big. I’d guess we’re talking at least an ounce of gold here. Expense aside, what’s that weight going to do to the bird?

  246. Rana the Pedantic Wet Blanket
    August 16th, 2011 at 2:55 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#241): Poteet, I adore your nature rants. They make me feel less alone.

    (My working theory is that Mark Trail’s writers also live in a time warp, back before environmental impact statements existed, when Woodsy Owl wasn’t even a gleam in the Forest Service’s eye, and men had never even dreamed of things like Gortex or fry pans that didn’t weigh about 20 pounds.)

  247. greghousesgf
    August 16th, 2011 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    MW–oh, come on. NO kid likes school.

  248. Mr. O'Malley
    August 16th, 2011 at 3:38 am [Reply]

    Let me add my voice to the ultimately doomed discussion of Mark Trail. How would you go about putting a big gold ring on a bird’s leg?

    I could also ask how you would get it off, but I guess you could cut it off.

    You start with a semi-ring that’s open enough to get the bird’s leg through, then you close it up with a big ol’ pair of pliers?

    At current prices that ring is going to be worth a thousand smackers or more, going on the basis that if it is soft enough to put it on like that, it would have to have a fairly high gold content.

    But since this is Mark Trail, any attempt to use rationality to analyze the plot is bound to be wasted effort, so it’s better just to sit back and enjoy the lunacy, just as one would do when attending a theatrical performance put together by a group of six-year-olds.

    Although … dear Lord, I can’t stop … Mark can only write one story per issue of “Woods and Wildlife” at the rate he goes. There must be some other writers besides Kelly, whose major contribution in the time I’ve been reading this was “How I attempted to feed a side of bacon to a mountain lion and got trapped in a cave with it”. (I’m guessing that “I saw Mark naked!” is outside the editorial limits of the publication.)

    So elsewhere there must be other writers toiling away on “Pet Deer Punching by Politicians in the Pacific Northwest”, “Armadillos Chained to Logs in Arizona”, “Apartment-Dwelling Little Girl in San Diego Acquires Unwanted Puppy” and so on, none of which we ever get to see. I suppose that “Santa Royale Biddy Provides Temporary Home for Lost Dog” might be one that got through.

    It must be a riveting journal.

  249. cj
    August 16th, 2011 at 3:49 am [Reply]

    Phantom:
    “ACTION! ADVENTURE!” Yes, on Stripey Butt’s 50″ projection tv.

  250. dale
    August 16th, 2011 at 4:52 am [Reply]

    @Mr. O’Malley (#248):

    I subscribe to several magazines that are more about shooting than wildlife. But, without doing any counting, any given writer will have only one article per issue. Those listed with actual staff editorial titles may also do a column.
    Of course, many have other actual paying jobs: law enforcement or consulting for manufacturers and tv programs.

  251. Mr. O'Malley
    August 16th, 2011 at 5:21 am [Reply]

    @dale (#250): Well, consider someone like Garrison Keillor, cranking out an hour or so of radio scripts every week that the show is on. There have been magazines that follow that model. One of my aunts worked for years on a magazine that basically was put out by her and the editor every month.

    It can be done, but not if you’re spending most of your time hauling cast-iron skillets around the woods.

    If you’re talking about magazines about hunting, I can visualize an entirely different model of running a magazine, where you have a number of contributors who try out and review different kinds of equipment, places to go hunting and so on. So in this case you have a larger group of people who spend much of their time doing stuff like hunting, and only a small amount of time writing about it.

    The same could be imagined about a magazine that was more about wildlife; one can conceive of “My Year in Alaska Studying Rabbits” and the like.

    It’s just hard to imagine a magazine that depends mostly on contributions from Mark and Kelly. Well, no harder than it is to believe the plots of the strip.

  252. gleeb
    August 16th, 2011 at 5:39 am [Reply]

    A&J: Newspapers. Of course, these newspapers are a communications medium, so it’s also anti-newspapers. I don’t think Johnson has thought this through.

    ‘shaft: Suicide contemplated. Remember, this is the light-hearted Batiuk strip.

    Dick: The dead walk the Earth. In natty bow ties.

    ‘bean: Always the dead wife. Remember, Cayha, you’ll always be second-string, used goods, compared to St Lisa.

  253. Liam
    August 16th, 2011 at 5:44 am [Reply]

    @Lisa (#231):

    Kelly is actually Mark’s half sister. Mark’s father would have lots of families throughout the country.

  254. But What Do I Know?
    August 16th, 2011 at 6:19 am [Reply]

    @Artist formerly known as Ben (#173): You kids today! I guess that’s what I get for going to high school right around the time when Psychology was being dreamed up. . .

  255. Droopy Says
    August 16th, 2011 at 6:45 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#241): if Mark were actually interested in doing outdoor journalism, there’s a lot of bird-banding research that might be of more interest to readers of outdoor magazines than stories about random gold bands with Bible verses.

    I may have figured out what the Golden Goose Bander is doing: he’s sending inspirational messages to the hordes of bird-banding researchers. Their Hearts Will Be Touched when they find the bands. And why not? Elrod himself is clearly touched.

  256. spike
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:41 am [Reply]

    MW: Why didn’t Mary meddle years ago when Santa Royale was being overrun by marauding gangs of pre-teens on skateboards? Huh? Huh?

  257. Hibbleton
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:50 am [Reply]

    I feel like I’m having a bad dream where your back in college and haven’t done the assignment and today’s lecture is:
    “Deconstructing Mark Trail”

  258. Maggie the Cat
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:53 am [Reply]

    If I were doing leg bands on geese I’d put fortune cookie sayings on them.

  259. ArchieNemesis
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:54 am [Reply]

    Bible-banded birds blamed for bad blood between boy and buddy! Film at 11!

  260. Captain Plaid Pants
    August 16th, 2011 at 8:13 am [Reply]

    8/16

    MW: I see where this is going: “I got in one little fight and my mom got scared. She said ‘You’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air’…”

    MT: “I enjoy his work!” Ugh. It’s like a bad elementary school play. I’m guessing little Tommy Ferguson is not happy about playing Ficus #1 in the background.

    FW: “Hey, did I ever mention that I have a DEAD WIFE named LISA? I haven’t brought up my DEAD WIFE in hours, so I thought maybe you forgot that I have a DEAD WIFE named LISA so I thought I’d mention that I have DEAD WIFE again. DEAD. WIFE. LISA. CANCER.”

  261. Écureuil Écumant
    August 16th, 2011 at 8:25 am [Reply]

    @Poteet (#241): Personally, I’m glad applicants have to provide references and documentation of relevant skills, and undergo a three-month approval process, before receiving a license to band dickcissels. That’s no job for an amateur.

  262. Jason Shrack
    August 16th, 2011 at 8:55 am [Reply]

    It’s kinda funny, I’ve been skating for 20 years and have been to New York to skate several times, and I can tell you for a fact that all that smiling and pointing would not make you any friends there lol! But in the Mary Worth universe it must be how kids act in the gritty streets of New York!

  263. Jeff J.
    August 16th, 2011 at 9:01 pm [Reply]

    “We Phantoms?” Doesn’t that imply that there is more than one Phantom out there? Perhaps even many Phantoms? I think to be fair to the rest of the Phantom Community the title of this strip should be changed to the more accurate “A Phantom.”

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